Making Government Work

How Streamlining the First Day of Work Increases Productivity and Cuts Costs

August 8, 2014
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How Streamlining the First Day of Work Increases Productivity and Cuts Costs
Pennsylvania’s one-stop shop makes it easy for the state, employees and employers to coordinate.

The first day at a new job is much like the first day of school. You’re given a tour of the space, meet everyone and get set up with all of the necessary passwords and policies. It can be monotonous and time-consuming for both employee and employer.

That’s why Pennsylvania made the move to expedite the process back in 2010, with the state, employees and employers now reaping the benefits.

Thanks to the government’s move to centralize the human resources functions for executive branch departments, the new system is the height of efficiency. Now, when employees start working, they have a one-stop destination for all of their transactions and needs — such as information about benefits, payroll and health care, among others — for as long as they are a state employee.

Especially beneficial, though, is the online onboarding program for new hires. Usually, incoming workers would have to wait until the first day to receive all of their training procedures, but now, all new employees (about 200 per month) are contacted via email by the human resources department two weeks before they start work. Within the message is a login and password to a website containing all of the information they need, including paperwork, benefits enrollment and office polices.

Since its inception, all parties have noticed how much the better the process now is. For the state, it’s estimated that it has saved $1 million because of the reduction in workload and rise in productivity. Employees aren’t twiddling their thumbs on the first day of work because they are already prepared and can get to work the minute they step through the door.

But Pennsylvania isn’t finished yet. It plans to add a second component to the onboarding, which would contain welcome videos introducing employees to the agency’s policies, procedures and training.

There is so much stress that usually accompanies starting a new job, but Pennsylvania’s system is easing the transition. Now if they can only create a way to make it easier to remember all your coworkers’ names.

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